Friday, October 16, 2015

Bookish Movies, Good Job Hollywood

Remember when I got all excited because the trailer for The Martian came out and it gave me SUPER HIGH expectations for the movie? And then like the next day (OK, 2 months) later I saw the trailer for A Walk in the Woods and YES MORE MOVIES MADE OUT OF BOOKS I LIKE.
I know it can be dangerous to get too excited about bookish movies because who knows how it's going to translate. Maybe the director or the screenwriter or the actors screwed something up. Maybe the story just worked best as a book and it doesn't matter who you have working on it, it's not going to work on film. Guess what?

First up, Walk, which between the two I was more worried about, because it's not like a straightforward story. It's got a story there, sure, but there's also lots of history and science woven in. And of course the part that makes it work so well is Bryson's tone.

Apparently Redford has been trying to make this movie forever, so it was in good hands. It's not exactly the book but it's actually a lot closer to the book than I would have assumed. It's got the humor, and I'm pretty sure Nolte was exactly how I pictured Katz and just never realized it. Sure, Redford and Nolte are much older than Bryson and Katz were when they did the hike, but it's fine. It still works this way and it's sweet and Kristen Schaal is amaaaaaaazing and THE perfect pick, even if her part is small. Well done, casting director.

Then there is The Martian and
I loooved this movie. Tom had the nerve to have to work both Friday and Saturday night so I was debating seeing it without him, but not really cos I'm not that mean. Instead we went to see the latest Saturday showing we could so we all got home at like 2am BUT DON'T CARE WORTH IT. The acting is well done. They didn't white wash the cast. The movie is long (2 1/2 hours) but it didn't drag, even when I already knew everything that was going to happen.

The movie has the same overall tone as the book, although we get to see a little more about how hard things are for Mark. In the book, we pretty much only hear from him based on what he's writing in his journal. The movie has those moments as well, via a vlog, but we also see him in quieter moments. FOR EXAMPLE when he's counting the potatoes he has while a massive storms whips around outside him. He's trying to focus on what he's doing and block out the noise, but the HAB is mostly canvas and you can hear everything. Will it hold? It's moments like this that give us a little more insight into how terrifying everything must have been for Mark, despite how upbeat he is.

Recommend both these movies. Ya done good, movie world, ya done good.